HPC NEWS

NSU acquires IBM supercomputer

27 February 2014



Nova Southeastern University’s (NSU) Graduate School of Computer and Information Sciences has received a multimillion dollar IBM Supercomputer. In keeping with the university’s mascot theme, the Sharks, the IBM Supercomputer has been nicknamed ‘Megalodon,’ the largest prehistoric shark known to man. Megalodon is currently housed within NSU’s Graduate School of Computer and Information Sciences and will be moved to the university’s $80 million Center for Collaborative Research, once the facility is completed in 2016.

The machine cluster is a collection of 32 nodes with each node having 16 Power CPU's with 256 GB of RAM.  Each CPU has two processor units that can run two threads each and each core is capable of two-way simultaneous multithreading. Each core has two integer units, two binary floating-point units, an AltiVec unit, and a novel decimal floating-point unit. It also has hardware support for IEEE 754 decimal arithmetic and includes the first decimal floating-point unit integrated in silicon. The machine is water-cooled using internal chilled plates and a rear cooling door on each rack.

The software stack consists of AIX, General Parallel File System (GPFS), C++, Fortran, IBM Parallel Environment Runtime (PE), Engineering and Scientific Subroutine Library (ESSL), Parallel Engineering and Scientific Subroutine Library (PESSL), and Tivoli Workload Scheduler LoadLeveler. 

Classified as an institution with ‘high research activity’ by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, NSU has more than 200 research projects currently underway and the acquisition of the supercomputer will play an important role in extending NSU’s research capabilities. The supercomputer will allow university researchers to create more accurate models of complex processes, and simulate problems that currently cannot be addressed with the university’s existing systems.

In keeping with the university’s mascot theme, the Sharks, the IBM Supercomputer has been nicknamed ‘Megalodon,’ the largest prehistoric shark known to man. Megalodon is currently housed within NSU’s Graduate School of Computer and Information Sciences and will be moved to the university’s $80 million Center for Collaborative Research, once the facility is completed in 2016.

‘This IBM Supercomputer will allow researchers to analyse increasing amounts of data generated by experiments in weeks or months, rather than the years required by conventional computers,’ said Eric S Ackerman, Dean of NSU's Graduate School of Computer and Information Sciences. ‘It will also allow NSU to develop a new wave of graduates who will have skills in large-scale computing, making them even more desirable prospects in the increasingly competitive job market.’

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